The Rams draft creates question marks
The Los Angeles Rams picked a total of nine players in the previous draft. But instead of providing answers, there are now even more question marks as to which plan the General Manager Les Snead front office is pursuing.
As in previous years, the rams went into this year’s draft without a first round pick and only picked on the second day. The decision was made by Florida State’s Running Back Cam Ackers. Ackers will probably go snaps early because with his yards after contact and his running style he fits perfectly into the system of head coach Sean McVay. He could well take on the role of Gurley, even if he is a lot smaller than his predecessor.
So while the value is definitely there, Ackers’ position is causing discussion. Running backs are less and less valued in today’s NFL, which is why many analysts and experts are very critical of high picks for this position. In addition, at number 52 with linebacker Josh Uche (went to 60 to the New England Patriots) and o-liner Josh Jones (went to 82 to the Arizona Cardinals), there were even better talents that would have covered important needs with the Rams.
The next surprise came five picks later when the Rams for Jefferson Wide Receiver pulled out. After Trade from Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans, the Rams have a need for a receiver. Therefore, it is not surprising at first glance that the Rams got a receiver early. But many experts see many similarities to Cooper Kupp in Jefferson. Both are good route runners and do a lot of things very well. Therefore, the Rams fans are already worried that Jefferson will be the successor, because Kupp’s contract expires in 2021 and it is still unclear whether it will be extended.
McVay also called Cooks’ trade “a vote of confidence” for Josh Reynolds to get more snaps. This can now be doubted, because a player who has been picked so high will surely see his snaps. In addition, the Rams have used their tight ends Tyler Highbee and Gerald Everett more often in the past season, playing less with three receiver sets than in the previous season. That’s why Reynolds could possibly be on the go because his contract will expire next year.
Tight end is a good cue because the Rams brought Brycen Hopkins a new man for the position in the fourth round. Hopkins is an interesting man who, for Pro Football Focus, is the tight end in this draft class that people like to watch. It has explosiveness and showed some great catches. But his big problem is drops, because 22 drops with 152 catchable balls are simply too much. Furthermore, the Rams already have two good tight ends, which is why he will probably not see much playing time this year.
That could change in 2021 or even earlier, because the Everett contract expires next year and an extension now seems increasingly unlikely. This pick shows foresight, but at number 126, which was given to the Texans (for which they received picks number 136, 248 and 250), better players like linebacker Troy Dye (went to 132 to the Minnesota Vikings) would have been available, that would have addressed the needs immediately.
They now have three players for one position on the position of the kicker. Before the draft, the Rams Austin MacGinnis and Lirim Harjalluh signed two kickers and then decided to pick Sam Sloman at number 248. The Miami, Ohio kicker turned 86.7 percent of his field goals last year, missing just three out of 115 extra points at college. It all boils down to a tough competition between the three, at the end of which the fans hope for a reliable successor to Greg Zuerlein. Since he was picked only seven spots before the end of the draft, the Rams could have gotten another player, for example, urgently needed help for the O-Line.
The first and only pick for the O-Line was at number 250, where they got Guard Tremayne Anchrum. He started 30 games at college and will be taking a backup role. But why there wasn’t any help for the O-Line, which had problems in the middle of last year, Snead explained as follows: “We have drafted young players in the last two or three years. I have played several times Said: Many of the players like David Edwards and Bobby Evans got game time last year, although we actually wanted to develop them as a backup for another year, and we have a good feeling that if we develop the players, we will have a solid offensive line . ”
Snead is absolutely right, as they drafted numerous o-liners alongside Edwards and Evens Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen and Austin Corbett. But it is also true that Noteboom and Allen could not convince until they were injured. Both were pushed back too often, so quarterback Jared Goff didn’t get the time.
Despite all the corrected criticism for the picks or the unelected players, Snead has brought three good players for defense with Outside Linebacker Terrell Lewis, Safety Terrell Burgess and Inside Linebacker Clay Johnston. Lewis is at risk due to his injury history, but should he stay fit, the experts consider him a player who can put double-digit sack numbers.
Burgess, on the other hand, is a versatile safety that can also be set up as a slot cornerback. He will compete with David Long Jr. and enable the Rams to play a lot in dime and “big nickel” formations. This will probably only have an inside linebacker on the field and that could be Johnston, who was very happy to be picked by the Rams.
All in all, however, it remains a draft that gives more questions than answers. What will the Starting O-Line look like? Will Darrell Henderson Starting Running Back or Cam Ackers? Who will be the new number 3 in Receiver Corps? Will Kupp, Reynolds and Everett leave the Rams next year? And who will be the next best pass rusher behind Aaron Donald? There will probably be no answers for that in the near future.
Sebastian Mühlenhof – April 28th, 2020
Is it Cooper Rams in the Rams jersey last year? (© Getty Images)
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